Fall Decorating · Gardening · Home Exteriors · Inspiration · Landscape Design · Plants

A Garden Favorite: Limelight Hydrangeas

Recently, I have been seeing potted hydrangeas that are shaped like topiaries, and I absolutely adore them.  What could be better than two of my favorite things–hydrangeas and topiaries–rolled into one stunning combination!

This photo of a home in the Hamptons is what started my obsession with this combination:

Ellen Kavanaugh Interiors

After a bit of research, I have determined that these beauties are hydrangea paniculata, or limelight hydrangeas.  This type of hydrangea is particularly appealing, because it doesn’t begin blooming until mid-summer, and it blooms all the way through the fall.  When they first bloom, the flowers are a whitish-green color, from which their “limelight” name is derived, but in the autumn, the flowers change to a gorgeous deep-pink.

The two photos below show how the color of limelight hydrangea flowers changes from summer to fall:

via Pinterest

Limelight hydrangeas are drought-tolerant, adaptable to different soil types, can be grown in partial or full sun, and are hardy to zone three. They grow up to eight feet tall and can be as wide. They need to be pruned in the late winter to promote new growth and flowers.

Limelight hydrangeas seem to be thriving in Chicago right now.  Here is a photo I took on a walk last week on Lake Shore Drive:


I love the fall color that they add to the landscaping, and the topiary shape is striking and elegant. Don’t the hydrangeas look beautiful next to the cabbages and mums?



I particularly like the look of hydrangeas in pairs, in square planters, with trailing ivy at their bases:

via Pinterest

Some other lovely photos of hydrangea topiaries in pots:

The Enchanted Home via Pinterest
via Creative Jewish Mom
Deborah Silver

Hydrangeas in blue and white pots couldn’t be prettier in Carolyne Roehm’s Connecticut garden:

via Pinterest

Limelight hydrangeas look stately flanking a front door:

via Houzz

Limelight hydrangeas make wonderful cut flowers and are also perfect for drying.

I love this dried arrangement that designer Christopher Spitzmiller made (and jokingly refers to as Marie Antoinette) from the limelight hydrangeas growing at his country home, Clove Brook Farm:

Screen Shot 2017-10-24 at 3.58.48 PM.png

Another arrangement at Spitzmiller’s farm house:

Screen Shot 2017-10-24 at 4.14.19 PM.png

Designer Harry Slatkin has a stunning arrangement of limelight hydrangeas in his Manhattan apartment:

Screen Shot 2017-10-24 at 4.09.00 PM.png

Ann, of the blog On Sutton Place, has some great tips for making simple flower arrangements with dried limelight hydrangeas like this one:

On Sutton Place

Ann also has a tutorial for making this beautiful fall wreath with dried limelight hydrangea flowers:


If only I had some of my own limelight hydrangea trees to cut from! Do you have any experience growing limelight hydrangeas?



18 thoughts on “A Garden Favorite: Limelight Hydrangeas

  1. Wow, what a wonderful post!!! I LOVE hydrangeas, they are my favorite but unfortunately have no experience in caring for them… 🙂


    1. Thanks very much Eva. The downside of urban living is that I have no gardening experience whatsoever. I just live vicariously through others who have gorgeous gardens full of beautiful hydrangeas like these. Ahh someday…. 💙


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